With the Tigers nearly a lock for the playoffs, there has been a lot of speculation about who the Tigers may face in the first round. I’ve read and heard quite a bit that the Tigers need to win the division so they don’t have to face the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. I wholeheartedly disagree with this line of thinking.
It’s hard to argue that the Yankees aren’t the favorites to come out of the American League. Of course they will be a formidable opponent. But if the Tigers are capture the American League Pennant and advance to the World Series they would have to beat the Yankees at some point. If you are of the opinion that the Yankees are vastly superior to the Tigers, it’s actually better for the Tigers to face them in a 5 game series than a 7 game series. The longer the series, the better the chance that the team with superior talent will prevail. Besides, what does winning the ALDS really get you anyways? Is there that much difference between losing in the first round of the playoffs or losing in the 2nd?
Don’t get me wrong, I want the Tigers to win the division. I want the Tigers facing Oakland in the first round, not because I fear the Yankees but because at the end of this year I want the Tigers to have a title of some sort. Whether that title is AL Central Division Champion, American League Champion, or World Series Champion I’ll be happy. The latter 2 are certainly possibilities, but the former is the most immediate and most within the Tigers grasp.
Want the division because you want the title, don’t want it because you think the Tigers can’t beat the Yankees.